Network Rail has completed the biggest track investment in Cornwall since the 1950’s on the St Ives Bay line between Carbis Bay and St Ives.
As we reported at the end of last year, buses replaced trains while the £3m project was carried out.
The line reopened today after the project to replace 1.5 miles of track was completed. In addition over 400 tonnes of new ballast and 3,600 new sleepers were laid.
The work was carried out day and night using electric and solar lighting, this type of lighting is completely silent and uses no diesel.
Lee Hildreth, Network Rail project manager, said: “We are delighted to have completed our work on the St Ives bay line which marks the biggest track upgrade in the county for over 60 years.”
“Despite a number of challenges, particularly the severe weather Cornwall has faced over the past month, it is really pleasing to have finished this important work which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the local community by helping to provide a more reliable railway for passengers in Cornwall.”
“We would like to thank the local community for their patience while we have completed this work and look forward to welcoming passengers back onboard.”
Mark Chorley, GWR Regional Station Manager, West, said: “We are pleased to resume train services on the St Ives Bay line today after a five-week period of upgrades. The work will help to keep our services on the branch line running reliably and provide a smoother ride for our customers.”
“While Network Rail upgraded the line, we continued to keep our customers moving, but with a longer, road journey. We thank them for their patience during this time and look forward to welcoming them back on-board our trains.”
Richard Burningham, Chair of Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, said: “We greatly welcome Network Rail’s investment in the St Ives Bay line which is a really important for the local economy, particularly at St Ives and Carbis Bay but for west Cornwall more widely.”
“It’s a very busy line – in 2019 more than 660,000 journeys were made on the line – and it will hopefully be just as busy, if not busier, when Covid restrictions are lifted.”
Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives West Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly, said: “I have the great honour of welcoming the G7 summit later this year and the focus will be recovering from Covid and how we can deliver a low carbon green economy.”
“That is why the investment in the St Ives Bay line is so welcome and so important because all of us will be thinking about reducing journeys on road and how we can use the railway more.”
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